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Publisher's Summary

Jamestown, England's first real foothold in the New World, was fraught with danger - from starvation and disease to violent skirmishes between colonists and the native populations. Mortality rates were impossibly high: six out of seven settlers died within the first few years. How clear these and other perils were made to the 56 young women who left their homes and boarded ships in England in 1621, nearly 15 years after Jamestown's founding, is not known. But we do know who they were. Their ages ranged from 16 to 28, and they were deemed "young and uncorrupt". Each had a bride price of 150 pounds of tobacco set by the Virginia Company, which funded their voyage. Though the women had all gone of their own free will, they were to be sold into marriage, generating a profit for investors and helping ensure the colony's long-term viability.

Without letters or journals (young women from middling classes had not generally been taught to write), Jennifer Potter turned to the Virginia Company's merchant lists - which were used as a kind of sales catalog for prospective husbands - as well as censuses, court records, the minutes of Virginia's General Assemblies, letters to England from their male counterparts, and other such accounts of the everyday life of the early colonists. In The Jamestown Brides, she spins a fascinating tale of courage and survival, exploring the women's lives in England before their departure and their experiences in Jamestown. Some were married before the ships left harbor. Some were killed in an attack by the native population only months after their arrival. A few never married at all. In telling the story of these "Maids for Virginia", Potter sheds light on life for women in early modern England and in the New World.

©2019 Jennifer Potter (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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WOMEN IN HISTORY

Hearing such detailed and very well researched information filled in the fiction that is in most media. Going back to the very beginning of this "bride adventure" recognizes the culture and manner in which such inequality still persists today...but how difficult it is for men to give up their historical power in society. Again, money is the driver.

12 people found this helpful

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History

I appreciated the contents of this book, since it had no political twist to it. I've become weary of listening to books which the history seems to be politically expunged.

4 people found this helpful

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Must love women's history.

I loved the women's history the author strenuously labored to include. I am nourished by stories of my foremothers that is so hard to come by. These works are crucial to compiling the true scope of history. Thank you!

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  • hb
  • 11-24-20

chapters are doubled up

It's a good story, but the chapters downloaded twice. I removed the book and re-downloaded, and they're still repeating. It can be a very confusing listen if you don't keep track. It doesn't seem possible to hide or delete just certain chapters either.